Can Electric Bikes Be Used Manually?
An e-bike gives you the best of both worlds of two-wheeled transportation: the freedom of a bicycle with the convenience and power assistance of an electric motor.
You may want to switch your e-bike from pedal assist to manual for a number of reasons: what if your battery runs out or you want to get in some extra exercise? Can you use your e-bike manually?
Can I ride my e-bike manually?
Yes, e-bikes can be used manually. Any e-bike with pedals and an electric motor should be able to switch to manual pedaling. To switch to manual, set the pedal assist setting to zero, turn off the battery, or disconnect (and remove) the battery completely.
While all e-bike makes and models will vary slightly, switching from an e-bike to a manual bike is usually both quick and easy. Below we’ve provided you with useful tips and instructions on switching from an e-bike to a manual bike, so keep pedaling!
How does an electric bike work?
E-bikes are just like traditional bicycles, except they come with an electric motor and rechargeable battery combination. The electric motor enhances the power of the pedals to make riding easier. Some e-bikes even let you switch to all-motor mode, so you don’t need to pedal at all!
Don’t forget that e-bikes need to be recharged after use. The battery supplies power to the motor and drains the battery during operation. Typically, the motor is located in the hub of one of the wheels and drives the wheel while the cyclist pedals.
Combining the power of the motor with the rider’s pedaling makes riding smoother and easier than using only the legs.
The motor is controlled through a control panel (usually located on the handlebars). The display tells you how much the motor is helping with pedaling, and there are usually buttons to adjust how much of the motor is used. The controller also displays a speedometer, battery life, and other motor functions. More expensive control panels are touchscreen operated.
Some reasons to use an e-bike manually
Let’s be honest, you bought an e-bike so you wouldn’t have to pedal as often. So, why would you switch to a sweaty manual ride? Well, there are plenty of good reasons to switch from motor to pedals.
You want to use your e-bike for exercise
I can hear you yelling, “I want to get fit!” Most people ride bikes as a fun way to get in shape, get fit, and lose weight. As your legs get stronger, you won’t need the motor as much and can kick it into pedal mode more often.
Since hills are the worst part of the ride, start the pedal assist on hills and then flip it back to pedaling only on flats and downhills. You will find that as you become fitter you will need less and less from the motor.
You’ll need to conserve your battery on long rides
From time to time you want a challenge. You’re planning a long ride, but you know the battery won’t last to the end, so you plan to turn off the motor from time to time during the ride. This ensures that you have enough power for the motor when you need it and that you can use the pedals when you don’t need them.
Choose carefully! Figuring out when it’s best to pedal and when to use the motor will allow you to avoid running out of battery mid-ride. You may be tempted to use the battery on difficult uphills, but the motor will be under more stress and drain the battery faster.
Check your route before you start riding and plan ahead for when you’ll need to use the motor. If you take it easy with the motor, you can go farther than if you use it for the entire ride.
Your battery runs out of power or you forget to charge it
Like any battery-powered product, e-bike batteries have a limited lifespan.
We’ve all been there: you’re riding along a scenic route (or getting lost!) ), and a long journey means you’ve ridden further than you planned. Or, maybe you unplugged your battery before it was full and it lasted sooner than you thought. Or, even worse, you forgot to charge it in the first place and now you don’t have time to do so.
Whether your battery died while you were riding or you (accidentally!) forgot to charge it, there’s only one option: switch your bike to manual and ride with pedal power!
Is it easy to ride an electric bike manually?
It’s as easy as riding a regular pedal bike. The pedals will work just fine if you don’t use the motor.
While your e-bike will work like any bike from the 1980s, there are still some problems that can occur when the motor and battery are turned off.
Heavy batteries and the added weight of the motor make the bike heavier. Your legs need to compensate!
Some of the cool features that come with strapping a battery pack to your bike will not work. Lights and gears that depend on the battery for help will be completely off. In fact, anything that uses batteries will die like a doornail.
Three Ways to Switch Your E-Bike to Manual
One of these three ways can instantly transform you from motorcycle head to pedal pusher:
Turn the pedal assist all the way to zero on the control panel.
Turn off the battery.
Remove the battery from the battery holder and store it at home.
Any of these three will do the same thing, stopping the motor at the wheel. However, once you read the manual, how you plan to use the bike will tell you which of the three is best.
If you plan to use the motor again later in the ride, the best option is to use the control panel. If you only want to switch to manual mode for a period of time during a ride, perform these three simple steps:
Locate the control panel on your bike, usually located on the handlebars.
Switch down to zero or switch manually using the buttons or touch screen.
Pedal the bike in manual mode to get started.
However, if you don’t want to use the motor at all while riding, then the best option is to turn off the battery and leave it at home. You can reduce the weight of the battery while riding.
There are many good reasons to switch your e-bike from a pedal assist motor to manual pedals only, and it’s easier than you might think. Use the display panel to switch the pedal assist to zero or turn off the battery and remove it completely. This will allow you to ride your bike manually, just like you did when you were a kid!
If you want to know more about Shuangye electric bikes or have any questions about our electric bikes/smart helmet and their components, please feel free to reach out to our customer service. We are always here to assist you.